Chadwick Boseman has received rave reviews for his portrayal of the singer, despite having no formal dance training.
Chadwick Boseman has told Sky News how he got into character to play the Godfather of Soul in the new James Brown biopic Get On Up.
The actor is no stranger to playing the all-American icon after portraying baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 42 last year, but said he felt there was pressure for this role.
"The producers and director had a better sense of me playing James than I did," said Boseman.
"There was a lot of faith involved in this - they didn't know whether I could dance or pull off the performance elements at all."
The actor chose a method approach to the role: "Once I got in the car to go to work each day I was called Mr Brown. I tried to think like him and to stay in it until I got out of the car when I got home. I didn't feel like I had time to break the process."
He learned the dance routines in just 30 days, and with no formal dance training or dance-double the pressure was on.
"Once we finished shooting that was the end of me doing the splits," he said.
"As far as the grooves - I still do that because it's something you're constantly forming in your head even though the movie's over. It's a movement style that becomes part of your life."
It wasn't just talent in front the camera on this project, Rolling Stone Mick Jagger was one of the film's producers.
A fan of James Brown, Sir Mick admitted to stealing many of James' dance moves over the years, and gave Boseman the benefit of his experience while he was preparing for the role.
Boseman said: "Mick's fun to be around - he's a lot more down to Earth than I thought he would be. He did anything he could to help me play this role - he was an open door. We're still hanging out."
Get On Up also stars Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis and is in cinemas from 21 November.